WASHINGTON, DC — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the United States would turn back the 7,000-person caravan of migrants from Central America when they reach the United States’ border with Mexico.
“The United States also has a message for those who are currently part of this caravan or any caravan which follows: You will not be successful at getting into the United States illegally no matter what,” Pompeo said at a briefing with reporters at the State Department.
“I repeat, the caravan will not cross our southern border under any circumstances,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo briefed reporters on several issues, including the U.S. investigation currently underway on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly killed in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul on October 2.
Pompeo also spoke about the elections in Afghanistan, which he said were successful despite some glitches.
But he spoke in most detail about the thousands of migrants who are headed to the United States from Central America and elsewhere.
“The migrant caravan is violating Mexico’s sovereignty, laws, and immigration procedures,” Pompeo said. “President Trump will not stand for this to happen to the United States.”
“To those who would say this is a hard-hearted stance, let’s not forget that the United States is a historically generous nation when it comes to immigration,” Pompeo said. “One million people per year are granted permanent legal status here in the United States. Over 33 million people are currently here who have immigrated to this country legally.”
“To those who want to come here, come here legally,” Pompeo said.
“Legal immigration is the surest way to obtain the better way of life you are looking for here in the United States of America,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo also stated the national security threat the caravan poses.
“From a security standpoint, there is no proper accounting of who these individuals in the caravan are,” Pompeo said. “And this poses an unacceptable security risk to the United States.”
Pompeo added that innocent victims of criminal groups in the region are likely among those convinced to join.
“Moreover, many of these people are ripe targets for human traffickers and others who would exploit them,” Pompeo said. “We don’t want that to happen.”
Pompeo also said he has spoken to his Mexican counterpart and is encouraging the country to take action.
“We trust that Mexico’s leaders know what the best steps are to resolve this situation and we urge timely action on their part,” Pompeo said.
Breitbart News reported, President Donald Trump announced on Monday that the United States would begin “cutting off, or substantially reducing” foreign aid to Central America over a growing migrant caravan marching toward the southern border.
“Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.,” President Trump tweeted. “We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.”
The three countries received more than $500 million combined in funding from the United States in fiscal year 2017.
“The migrant caravan, which started out more than a week ago with fewer than 200 participants, has drawn additional people along the way and it swelled to an estimated 7,000 Monday after many migrants found ways to cross from Guatemala into southern Mexico as police blocked the official crossing point,” Breitbart News reported.